Thursday, 29 May 2014

Product Review - Ocean Free Surf Clear

While shopping for aquarium supplies recently, i chanced upon this new surface skimmer from Ocean Free called the Surf Clear. It seems to be a new model so i figured it'll be interesting to try it out and do a review on it.

I have used the Eheim 350 surface skimmer before, so my review will include some comparisons with that model.

The Surf Clear product box and its contents...


It operates on the popular design of a floating skimmer head and motorized pump at the bottom.

The overall build quality is quite good and all the parts fit together well. Its design does somewhat resemble the Eheim 350, and in some ways it also matches the design and color scheme of the Ocean Free Hydra internal filters too.


The inflow speed can be controlled by turning the blue skimmer container's collar left or right. The skimmer head also has grill guards which help to prevent small fishes or shrimps from being pulled into the skimmer (but tiny fry or shrimplets may still get pulled in so do check it regularly).


It comes with an innovative feature which allows users to simply lift the skimmer head and container straight out of the main casing to clean it, without removing the whole unit from the tank. The sponge filter media is housed in the blue skimmer container (not in the main unit). I like this particular feature as it helps to reduce the chances of drips and spills during regular maintenance.


The motorized pump can be easily removed for cleaning whenever necessary. The power consumption and flow rate of the Surf Clear is 3W and 200 l/ph (compared to the Eheim 350 which is 5W and 300 l/ph).

Instead of a conventional single nozzle outflow design, the Surf Clear has a grate style outflow design instead, this disperses the flow to a wider area and directs a more gentle current towards its surroundings.

Here is the Surf Clear operating in one of my tanks...


I've used it in a few tanks and it worked effectively to clear up the surface oil layers.

Overall, my experience with the Surf Clear has been positive so far. I think its worth a look at if you are also in the market for a surface skimmer too. :)

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review.
    Is this available to purchase online anywhere? Can't seen to find it.

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    1. I guess its such a new product that online stores haven't stocked it yet... probably have keep searching and hopefully they appear online soon. :)

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  2. Hello mate! I like your post. This is very informative. I am planning to sell this product in my local country. Would you mind if I use your images in my listing? We will keep the watermark as it is to promote your blog in our store as well. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Preferably you should use your own product photos as i've encountered other people using my photos for their sales listings before, and their buyers mistake me for the seller and then start sending me purchasing questions about it.

      Therefore to avoid potential misunderstandings, it'll be best not to use my photos directly in your sales listing.

      However you are welcomed to post a link to my review in your sales listing for your customer's general reference. :)

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  3. what is the color of the skimmer? it is black or grey like the eheim one?

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, its a dark grey color... quite similar to the Eheim version.

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  4. which one is better in your opinion, eheim or chinese one?

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    1. Personally i prefer the Ocean Free Surf Clear... it works well, has better features and is much easier to clean.

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  5. This really looks like a good alternative to the Eheim Skim350. I love the Skim350, but the intake design has eaten far too many of my fish. :( This one is more protected, and easier to clean as a bonus! I'd miss the extra circulation the Skim350 gives, but safer for my fish is a fair tradeoff. Only problem is I can't find this anywhere for sale. Can you offer any ideas?

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    1. I bought my set locally from Seaview... i guess you can also get it from other LFS that also stock a range of Ocean Free products, just have to shop around to find it. :)

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  6. Hi there, my tank does have that layer of oil at the surface, hence I'm interested to get this product too in my next trip to Seaview.

    However, do you know what's the cause of the oil layer? So far what I have read online is quite negative, some said we should resolve the root cause instead of just install such surface cleaner. What are your thought on this?

    Thank you.

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    1. The oil layer is common in most tanks with livestock and plants... the surface film is made up of oil residue from food, organic waste material (from both livestock and plants) and fertilizers. Its a normal effect.

      Usually the oil layer is broken up by active surface agitation from the filter outflow or removed through regular water changes... though if a tank has higher bio-load, higher density of plants or doesn't have much surface agitation, then the oil layer will tend to form up more quickly and become more noticeable.

      A surface skimmer constantly draws in and traps the oil film, so it helps to keep the water surface clear. Do remember that you'll also need to clean the skimmer regularly to remove the trapped oily residue too. :)

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